10 years since the last video Fully Flared, the much anticipated new full-length video The Flare finally got released. We chatted with Rick Howard and asked a few questions about the new release.
──RICK HOWARD (ENGLISH)
[JAPANESE / ENGLISH]
Interview by VHSMAG, Photos courtesy of Lakai, Special thanks: OSC Distribution
VHSMAG (V)： Congratulation on The Flare. It's been ten years since Fully Flared.
Rick Howard (R)： Has it been ten years?
V： I think so. I know that you had Pretty Sweet, the massive video in between. How long did it take to complete The Flare?
R： Well, after Pretty Sweet, coming off of that was probably pretty hectic for a lot of the guys. Nearly four years ago, people just started filming... Stevie Perez actually filmed the part a couple of years ago and... Yeah, a couple people... Stevie and Riley Hawk had stuff and it was like, "Here we go. It's time, let's put something together." I would say we filmed for about three years. Some guys got hurt. Riley had a couple of painful surgeries and Stevie broke his hip like a year and a half ago.
V： Could you talk about the production?
R： A lot of filmers... Riley filmed a lot of the stuff with a friend of his, Jacob Nuñez. Stevie and Daniel Wheatley filmed a lot together. Obviously Federico Vitetta is the main driving force to help the production, and make it like what it was. There was John Marello, Rye Beres... There were a lot of different people that really contributed to this.
V： And Federico put everything together.
R： Yeah, he's the Italian one with the sphere brain. He's the one that came up with the idea of the intro. Italian-style cinematography. Fed's has been a part of Girl Films for a while. He actually worked on Fully Flared ten years ago. This was his first project where a lot of it was in his hands.
V： This time Ty Evans wasn't involved?
R： No. After Pretty Sweet he went off in a different direction. So he wasn't involved in this project. But it was fun. This video... It went from a cellphone clip, to steady cam, to Red cam... It was fun to just have the formats be across the board.
V： What was most challenging without Ty?
R： You spend a lot of time together on the road, and it's just that he wasn't a part of it. What was different was that he wasn't a part of the project. Ty is a master at what he does, and it was fun working on projects with him. For this one we had the Italian style and it was fun. We took a lot of trips across the border to Mexico that were crazy. We traveled to Europe a little bit. I wish we would've gone to Japan... Hopefully for the next one.
V： Could you talk about the team? It's changed since Fully Flared. It's been ten years. It's younger.
R： Simon Bannerot... He just got out of high school and came down and that guy had me stoked. It's been refreshing to go out on the road with guys that are excited to do whatever. It's all new and fun. Manchild, Riley, Sebo, this was his first Lakai part. I was happy for them to be a part of our full-length video.
V： You guys turned Yonnie Cruz pro recently.
R： Yeah, at the San Francisco premiere. He had no idea. We talked about it at the first premier in LA, but it was perfect to do it in SF because that's where he spends a lot of time. The GX1000 Crew. That's his backyard, so that was perfect place to do it. That was a fun night. He was surprised.
V： You and Mike Carroll had clips in the video. Everyone was going crazy when you popped up on the screen at the premiere in Japan.
R： Thank you. It was fun to sprinkle a couple tricks in there, but it was more about... Simon, Manchild, Yonnie... It was their video. But we needed more Carroll footage, right? Carroll had a good line. It surprised me. I didn't film anything for Pretty Sweet. I wanted to do more, actually for this one, but I had some physical stuff going... Maybe for the next one. We don't know what it is yet, but we'll see.
V： What would you say is the secret to longevity?
R： I think it's just how much you love it, really. What it means to you. For a skater, as long as you have friends that keep you motivated... Road trips are some of the best times. Those are things we look forward to. Being out there with your friends. Doing it. As long as you can. What's the secret? We're still searching for that.
V： What was the most memorable thing from this video?
R： The most memorable would be ... Good question. Most memorable... There was so many... There's just too many moments to narrow it down to one... What was your most memorable scene from the video?
V： Of course all the skating was sick but personally the scene with Tony Hawk. Riley being there, father and son.
R： That was an amazing day. Honestly, I think I cried. I teared up from how happy it was. I would say that day was probably really special, so I'm gonna go with just that session.
V： How did that come about?
R： We were always planning on trying to have some tricks of Tony's in the video... We're honored. I mean, it's Tony Hawk and he's one of the most insane skateboarders. It was a fun homage to just get everyone together and do that. It was incredible. That was a fun day.
V： Manchild seemed really stoked to do the doubles with Tony.
R： That was insane. Did you see the board? No tail. I loved that he said something like, "That board was from 1992, but I was born in '96." The way he said it was just so classic Manchild. He definitely makes every day memorable. He's fun to roll with. We had a good time in New York. We got to post up a couple weeks with Simon, Tyler, Carroll and Wheatley. That was fun just pushing around the city. Just cruising with the buds was always the best memories.
V： What was the reason of making a team full-length? Nowadays it seems like video parts are all over the place on the Internet, but you decided to make a legit full-length. You took your time and did it.
R： Because people want to be a part of that. I think Tony Hawk... I don't know if you watch the Nine Club at all.
V： Yeah, I watched the Lakai premiere episode. Great show.
R： That was amazing what he said at the premiere, where being a part of a video where you collectively worked on something together... About people filming for a solo video part today, he said it... "A part of what? A part of nothing. It's about you." This was about Lakai and everyone, what it is today. This group of friends right now that has come together to make this. In that, it takes time. That's why this one took another three or so years. People get hurt or you need more time. That's part of working on a group project. I think, in the end, it's like there's no other feeling like that when you come together and make a project that's not just about you. It is a different time and these guys know that... People are making full-length videos. The Made video was amazing. The GX1000 video was amazing too. It's great to see that there's a lot of great videos that are being made right now. We'll always continue to do it. It keeps the spark.
V： Whose part from The Flare are you most stoked on?
R： Oh, man. That's a tough one. Raven's part... I get sparked. They're all good... I can't really say. Whose part? I'll go back to that Tony Hawk and Manchild again. Still my favorite part. To me, skateboarding is about everyone just having fun at a session from all generations coming together. But Raven's stuff is... That's just him skating, too. Whoever just happened to be there pressed record. We're lucky to capture what he had.
V： What would you say is the best thing about skater-owned shoe brands?
R： The best thing about it is that it's just us doing it really. You get to do whatever you want. Everyone's got a say. Any part, any process, any of the actual shoes, to everything we do, everyone has a say. It represents Simon, Manchild, Yonnie, Riley... It's them. That part is always going to be what makes Lakai what it is. There are other people that come into skateboarding, but that'll come and go and skateboarding will always be there. And people that are there for the right reasons will always be a part of it. It's great those people changed certain people's lives. I hope that can last for folks for as long as... forever.
V： What's the best thing about Lakai?
R： The shoes are actually, in my opinion, the best skate shoes. Made by Mike Carroll. Just having Mike Carroll micromanaging. He keeps you in check. I'm going to go with Mike Carroll being the best part of Lakai.
V： You have a collection with Girl.
R： Yeah, it's like the black and green polka dot-inspired... I think that should be available now in Japan. We put a little ollie pad on the side of the Griffin just to switch it up a little bit. It's one of our favorite shoes, the Griffin. It was cool to just add a little twist to it. The colors were tied into that Yeah Right! green.
V： I heard you also have Yonnie Cruz and Manchild collaboration.
R： The Staple shoe. They picked the color ways. That shoe is amazing, the way we re-vamped it. It's like the Carroll special. It's like a team fave and you can only get it at real skate shops. If you see Staples at a store, you know that's a legit shop. That's one thing, when you see Lakais out there at shops you know that represents skateboarding. There's only a few people doing shoes right now that you can't get everywhere.
V： Last question. Anything you want to make happen with Lakai?
R： I think Raven wants to beat the speed record. They had some contests. I think some long boarder has a world record, so we're going to help the world record, so he can get into the Olympics for 2020. Do they have that at the Olympics?
V： I don't think so.
R： Well, they should. That'll be like track and field for skateboarding. The fastest skateboarder alive. We're going to shoot for that for Lakai 2020.
Return of the Flare with Rick Howard.
The Flare trailer.
The one with smoothest styles in Skateboarding. Rick was a part of the Blockhead team in the end of the ‘80s and Plan B in the early ‘90s. In ’93, co-founded Girl with Mike Carroll and now running Lakai together.